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A big part of dynasty (and fantasy football as a whole) is taking a stand whether we believe what we have seen will continue or not. This could be from week-to-week, year-to-year, or in dynasty from a previous-to-future general sense. By this point of the season, taking stock of your roster and team situation is key.
Myfantasyleague.com is my go-to dynasty league hosting site for a number of reasons. One of which is applying in-season team management with their 'Power Rankings' statistics. In head-to-head formats it is easy to get lost in the binary 'did I win or lose' weekly outcome. The Power Ranking information also includes key data such as:
Potential Points: This is my favorite way to distribute the rookie draft position for non-playoff teams. This uses best-ball concepts to score your optimal lineup each week. Also, Potential Points provide clarity on the true strength of a team independent of their lineup decisions.
Efficiency: This shows the difference between your potential points (optimized best ball scoring for the season) and your actual starting lineup each week.
Max PF: Your best weekly score
Coulda Won, Woulda Lost: The games in flux due to lineup decisions where the outcome would change with a more, or less, optimized lineup.
All-Play Record: Your Win-Loss record if you had played every team in the league each week.
Each of these categories provides a second-level sense of how your team is faring within the league. Potential Points and All-Play are the most global data points. Deep teams of talent have more difficult lineup decisions, so their potential points can be higher and can see a lower efficiency mark as a result.
Teams with a strong win-loss record and a low all-play mark point to a fortunate schedule. T same thing applies with a low ranking in potential points (or high efficiency) can point to a team being 'maxed out' even pushing all the right buttons weekly.
With more than half of the fantasy regular season in the rearview mirror, I like to check in with team direction. A strong record with low Power Ranking metrics (or a lack of depth for the upcoming bye weeks plus injuries) can point to regressing to the pack. On the flip side, A slow start but strong secondary metrics (and returning players from injury) point to a rebound coming.
One of my dynasty teams is sitting at 2-5, a full two games out of the final playoff spot with six regular-season games to play. However, the Power Rankings data tell a more promising story. My All-Play is 0.526. This means due to factors like lineup decisions and scheduling, I am underperforming by 1.7 wins. By All-Play, my record *should* be 3.7 wins against 3.3 losses in a computer-simulated world.
I am also the fourth-highest scoring team in the league and 123 more points than a team that is 4-3 in the standings. Twice in seven weeks, I have faced the highest-scoring team in the league that week. The average probability would be facing the highest-scoring team once for an entire regular season or so.
Roster-wise, this Superflex format had a brutal two-week stretch in Weeks 6-7 with my three notable quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston) on bye. Nick Chubb has recently missed time. Reasons for optimism include being full strength at quarterback going forward, Chubb returning this week or next, and having both Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz among my four main tight ends in this 2TE with a premium scoring format. Goedert and Ertz being split by an NFL trade of Ertz increase the upside of both as clear starters. Finally, Michael Gallup is close to returning and would slot in the WR3/4/5 zone for lineup decisions.
Schedule-wise, I have yet to face the clear weakest team in the league (0-7, distant last in points) in a rebuilding situation. They are approaching Week 9. The other two lowest-scoring teams in the league also populate my remaining six-week schedule.
The summary is this is a glaring example to stick with the plan and do not become an overt 'seller' in the dynasty market shifting to 2022 just yet. If I catch up by at least one game over the next three weeks (two games against the weakest teams in the league), then it is game on pushing for the postseason only a game out and (hopefully) continuing to score well for potential tiebreakers. If I go 0-3, then the door is nearly shut, and selling a few 2021-centric players for picks or 2022 shots is on the table.
My other glaring example in the opposite direction is a franchise in a stock 1QB PPR league with 24 roster spots. I sit at 4-3 and in first place of my division. However, my all-play is anemic at 37% (2.6 implied wins), third-lowest points scored, and four 'would have lost' games. All four divisional teams are within one game of first place and the other three have all scored more points and decidedly so. I have a narrow edge in head-to-head and division record tiebreakers to be in first place on paper.
Considering my total points and All-Play record, My flimsy points and all-play point to a risky vantage point as a playoff team. All but two teams in the league have at least three wins. There is a logjam for the six playoff spots. Injuries have ravaged my roster with Russell Wilson (easily my QB1) out, J.K. Dobbins, Travis Etienne, and Will Fuller on the season-ending IR for a while now, and Jerry Jeudy has also been on the shelf for weeks (hopefully back for good this week). My wide receiver corps (2020 orphan takeover) is a relative mess compared to the other positions. Cordarrelle Patterson has been a savior in relative terms as Corey Davis and Sammy Watkins (now out) are my other notable active options in this 3WR lineup format.
On a slightly positive note, Nick Chubb and Jerry Jeudy are likely to return this week (or the following game at a minimum) and Khalil Herbert could have a few more starts before David Montgomery returns later in the season. I have plenty of injury-away running backs to add firepower if an injury should occur on their depth chart like Tony Pollard, A.J. Dillon, Ty Johnson, Sony Michel, Alexander Mattison, Jamaal Williams, and now it looks like JaMycal Hasty is trending in the same direction. Those are plenty of upside shots to find the perfect storm combinations down the stretch, added to Jonathan Taylor and Nick Chubb. Dalton Schultz has been a stabilizing force at tight end.
The mindset with this team is different as 4-3 is a paper tiger-type record. I have been overachieving all year. Cordarrelle Patterson is critical to my wide receiver corps and at least one of Corey Davis or Jerry Jeudy needs to be stable down the stretch. WR3 will be a streaming adventure at a minimum. Ideally, flipping a running back for a wide receiver is on the table in the coming weeks. Even an Emmanuel Sanders or A.J. Green type would be an upgrade to my depth chart on the back end.
Schedule-wise, the next three weeks are critical. I face three teams all in the bottom half of the league in total points - like my own squad. An overt 0-3 or 3-0 stretch shifts the entire outlook for the rest of the season.
Summarizing some of the points above, when analyzing your dynasty teams, look beyond the current W-L record. Check out the remaining, or next 2-3, games on your schedule. Are they notably strong or weak teams? Is your All-Play record far different than your W-L record?
Weeks 11-13 are common dynasty trade deadline but still three matchup data points away from now. If 4-3 and in the thick of the race and playing two of the playoff-centric teams next, this will be a telling stretch to your chances. Even at 3-4 or 2-5, a two-week win streak can change your tune of being a seller before the deadline. On the flip side, a key loss this week or next could be the realistic end to your playoff probabilities and shift your team to a deadline seller.